Archive | August, 2013


Swimming in a jellyfish swarm

When we explored Malaysia’s Bako National Park with our friends from Seattle recently, we started to notice the jellyfish when we were still a few miles from the anchorage near Pulau Lakei. At first we thought the billowing white shapes were plastic bags floating just underwater, a sad commentary on how accustomed we have become […]


Nonbelievers in a Muslim country

The post about Brunei’s palace guard playing grab-ass during our family photo op prompted a friend to comment on her misgivings about traveling as a woman in a Muslim country. It wasn’t the association I had in mind, but as she pointed out, when your window on the world is the US mass media it’s […]


How far would you travel to see friends?

We just spent an amazing week with old friends from Seattle. Our history together dates to a new parent’s group we shared with our firstborns 14 years ago, but the real surprise is that Jamie and T.A. didn’t meet earlier since they were both working with the America3 campaign in 1992. It’s funny to think […]

Arise TV interview: more than just alt family living

Jamie and I recently spent time talking to Christina Brown, host of Our Take on Arise TV. We were joined by other families who choose alternative lifestyles based on travel. It was a fascinating discussion with varied perspectives on similar goals: to help our children be citizens of the world. You can watch the full […]


Our five year cruisiversary

I look at this photo of our children at the time we embarked on the cruising life in 2008 and wonder- how did five years pass so quickly? It’s five years today since we backed Totem out of her Bainbridge Island slip and departed on cruising adventures. At the time, I really didn’t think that […]


Crazy squalls off the coast of Borneo

The west side of Borneo is giving us excellent squall-spotting and squall-dodging practice. Thunderstorms form most afternoons. It starts innocently enough…just some pretty cumulus clouds giving texture to a beautiful day. But at some point, that puff of fluffy cloud gets evil looking. Most of the time, the wind hits first, with rain starting only […]


Borneo passage days

We do have our fair share of squalls (really, it’s a daily event) but most of the time we have spent making our way from one part of Borneo to another has been mild and mellow. We aren’t catching any fish, but we aren’t trying hard- the fishfinder (the best cheap depth sounder you can […]


And then the Lamborghini drove off the dock

When I returned to the Miri marina from provisioning with a friend, there was an entirely new class of transportation lined up in front of the well-used sailboats and Malaysian Marine ships. One metallic blue machine edged out onto the wooden platform over the water, wooden boards creaking loudly underneath. OK, it didn’t actually go […]


Sat around with your neighbors lately?

How different would communities be if the neighbors all sat down together to relax and talk for an hour or so- say, once a month? Once a week? In the Miri marina, there’s a nightly bring-your-chair-and-beverage gathering at the end of Dock B. We didn’t solve the world’s problems, but we speculated about the marina’s […]


Dancing with Oil Rigs

Heading south from Brunei, a beam swell gives our gimbaled stove a gentle sway and does half the work of scrambling eggs for me.  We have a rare treat to go with them this morning: breakfast sausage! I learned to make our own when breakfast links turned out to be an uncommon cold case item […]

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